As many have already set off for University this month, I have been struck by the latest statistic that nearly half of all young people in the UK now go on to Higher Education. University entrance numbers rose this year by 1.4% despite the also growing supply of apprenticeship and degree apprenticeship options that can help avoid the tuition fees of over £9,000 per academic year. That's a lot debt and a lot of graduates in the job market in three years time - how many of them will have the transferable skills for the employers?
As a Career Coach currently working in schools, I feel that I have a positive role in offering young people careers education on all routes to work and it's an opportunity to support them in making an informed choice of which pathway might suit them best. Trying to help young people find out more about how to utilize their personality, aptitudes and interests can only help them get closer to finding the motivation for studying to a deeper level or for getting out into the world and learning through direct experience. Helping young people to start thinking about the future and helping them find out 'why' they might be interested in a course or job can open up choices. It may help them explore where their purpose may lie so they can then explore more routes to fulfill their ambitions than the obvious traditional options.
Students don't have to have fixed ideas of an ideal career and this may be a good thing when this generation may have a predicted lifeline of 12-15 different jobs in their future. At best the coaching finds a theme for what they might enjoy and therefore uncovers where they might be successful. They can then build up transferable skills in trying to make it happen. Two of the most valued skills in the workplace are self-management and independent learning. This starts with students (not parents) making action plans for their future that are full of their own ideas and that's where career coaching with a young person can really make the difference.